Jeff Ireland

Getty Former Bears ball boy Jeff Ireland is a current candidate for the team’s GM position.

Anew day is about to dawn for the Chicago Bears.

The team has begun what initially appears to be a wide-ranging and comprehensive search for a new head coach and general manager after parting ways with Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.

“We will be thorough, diligent and exhaustive,” team Chairman George McCaskey said on January 10 about the search. “It will result in the best possible selections to lead the Bears to success.”

We’ll update the list as new candidates emerge, but as it stands, here’s a tally of the candidates Chicago has requested interviews with so far.

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Buffalo Bills Assistant General Manager Joe Schoen

Schoen served as Miami Dolphins Director of Player Personnel from 2014-2017 after he was promoted internally from Assistant Director of College Scouting. He spent first five years with the Dolphins serving as a national scout. He began his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, where he was an intern in 2000, a scouting assistant in 2001, as well as a Southeast and Southwest scout.

Indianapolis Colts VP of Player Personnel Ed Dodds

Dodds is the current Indianapolis Colts Assistant General Manager. Prior to his work in Indy, he spent 10 seasons (2007-2016) with the Seattle Seahawks, serving as Senior Personnel Executive, where he was largely responsible for evaluating college and pro players. The Seahawks amassed five NFC West titles, 10 playoff wins and two Super Bowl appearances (one win) in his tenure.

Indianapolis Colts Director of College Scouting Morocco Brown

Brown is currently the Director of College Scouting for the Indianapolis Colts. Prior to his time with the Colts, he served as Director of Player Personnel for the Washington Football Team from 2008-13, Director of Pro Personnel for the Bears (2001-07) and VP of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns (2014-15).

San Francisco 49ers Director of Player Personnel Ran Carthon

Currently in his fifth season as Director of Player Personnel for the San Francisco 49ers, Carthon also held that exact same title for five years with the Los Angeles Rams, where he helped select Aaron Donald in the draft, before heading to San Francisco. Before working with the Rams, he had a four-year stint as a scout with the Atlanta Falcons beginning in 2008, so his strengths definitely lie in the scouting department.

Former Houston Texans VP of Football Operations Rick Smith

Smith has been out of football since 2017, but he’s still highly respected in and around the league. Here’s a look at his resumé:

  • Purdue (1992) — Graduate assistant, strength and conditioning coordinator
  • Purdue (1993) — Graduate assistant, tight ends coach
  • Purdue (1994–1995) — Secondary coach
  • Denver Broncos (1996–1999) — Assistant defensive backs coach
  • Denver Broncos (2000–2005) — Director of pro personnel
  • Houston Texans (2006–2017) — General manager
  • Houston Texans (2012–2017) — Executive vice president of football operations

New Orleans Saints Assistant General Manager & College Scouting Director Jeff Ireland

Ireland, who was a ball boy for the Bears when he was a kid, began his career as an executive in 1994, when he worked as a scout at the NFL Scouting Combine. Since that time, he has been a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs (1997-2000) and the Dallas Cowboys (2001-04). He also served as Vice President of College & Pro Scouting for the Cowboys (2005-07), GM of the Miami Dolphins (2008-13), draft consultant for the Seahawks in 2014 and Assistant GM & College Scouting Director with the New Orleans Saints, a title he still holds at present.

Cleveland Browns Vice President of Football Operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Current Vice President of Football Operations for the Cleveland Browns, Adofo-Mensah is a bit of a long shot candidate. The former Princeton grad has just eight years of NFL experience. His career began with the 49ers in 2013, where he served as Director of Football Research and Development before coming to Cleveland in 2020. According to Aaron Leming of CBS Sports’ Bear Report, Adofo-Mensah has “quickly risen to the ranks as an NFL salary cap guru.”

Cleveland Browns Vice President of Player Personnel Glenn Cook

Cook is a former player and he has 20+ years of experience coaching in the NFL. He had served as Director of Player Personnel for the Washington Football Team from 2008-13, Director of Pro Personnel for the Bears (2001-07) and VP of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns (2014-15).

Pittsburgh Steelers Vice President Omar Khan

Khan began his career with the New Orleans Saints in 1997, working in football operations. He held that role until 2001, when he was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as Football Administration Coordinator. The Steelers promoted him to Director of Football Administration in 2011, and he was promoted yet again in 2016, to Vice President of Football & Business Administration. He has won two Super Bowls in his time with the Steelers, and is expected to be one of the hotter GM candidates this cycle. There is also a chance Pittsburgh is looking to promote him as its own GM, as well.

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READ NEXT: Chicago Bears Head Coach Candidate Tracker

Source: Heavy

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